Friday, June 24, 2016

The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love, by Sarvenaz Tash

Confession Time: I am a geek. 

So with a title like The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love, how could the newest novel by Sarvernaz Tash NOT be awesome?

And if the title alone didn't have me convinced: When I opened the book at random and my eyes fell on the words #InigoMontoyaSmackdown... Well... OK, so I read a book based solely on a Princess Bride reference. And not only a Princess Bride reference, but a reference to my favorite character from The Princess Bride (side note: If you have not yet seen The Princess Bride, get thee immediately to the movie section and rent it). 

That and a patron with, shall we say, "very discriminating taste in Teen Literature" was absolutely raving to me about it.

Needless to say, there was A LOT of expectation riding on this quirky-looking little book. Usually when that's the case, I end up extraordinarily disappointed. It's like when you're eyeing that huge, beautifully-wrapped present that's been under the Xmas tree for weeks, speculating on what sort of coolness could be inside (a computer? a time machine? one million dollars?)...aaaand having it turn out to be a year's worth of socks (or something). The mental buildup is such that, no matter what, the reality will be a tremendous let down.

Let me state that THIS WAS NOT THE CASE with The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love. This book wasn't just as good as I hoped.

It was better!

Let me explain:

No... There is too much...

Let me sum up:

Graham, a self-proclaimed geek, has been harboring a secret crush on his best friend (and fellow geek), Roxy, for years. The two do everything together. They share a love of old-school comics...and even write and illustrate their own comic, The Misfits of Mage High. They even sometimes finish each other's sentences and think of the same things at the same time. So it should be easy to transition from friendship into relationship. But for some reason Graham hasn't been able to find the courage to tell Roxy how he feels. And Roxy remains oblivious.

Then comes the perfect plan: Robert Zinc, the creater of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, will be making his first public appearance in years at the upcoming Comic Con in NYC. Graham plans snag the coveted passes to this special, once-in-a-timelord-lifetime panel and take Roxy. Here, he will profess his undying love. And, of course, Roxy will realize she loves him right back. And they will live happily ever after. It'll be like Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey. Like Wesley and Buttercup. Like North and Althena. With a plan like this, what could go wrong?


A snafu at the ticket area where Graham failes to get the passes to see Zinc starts the weekend off on a bad note. And things get worse from there. Namely in the form of a British "Stud Crumpet" vying for Roxy's affections. Add in a neurotic best friend, a popular girl a little too interested in geek culture, and a flirty Althena fan who actually got into the special panel (jealousy!!) and Graham is in for an unforgettable weekend.

Things just may not pan out as he expected.

The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love was fabulous! Packed with painfully awkward (but hilarious) situations, references to all forms of geekdom (from comics to movies to fanfiction), and unforgettable characters, this one is a winner on all counts. I loved it, loved it, loved it!

The only problem is anything I read afterward will be anticlcimactic. But that's not going to stop me from recommending it. So read it! --AJB

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